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BBK Video Clip Revives UNDP-GNP Tensions

Posted December. 17, 2007 03:03,   


The controversy over Grand National Party candidate Lee Myung-bak’s alleged involvement in the BBK scandal took a new twist yesterday after the liberal United New Democratic Party (UNDP) released a video clip in which Lee Myung-bak publicly states that he established the investment fund at the center of the scandal.

Jeong Dae-cheol, Lee Hae-chan, Gim Geun-tae, Gang Geum-sil and Sin Guk-hwan, co-chairmen of the presidential election campaign committee of the UNDP, held an emergency press conference on Sunday in the National Assembly and released the video footage, saying that, “The video clip features Lee delivering a lecture at Kwangwoon University on October 17, 2000. Candidate Lee should resign his candidacy because this is the clear evidence that his allegations are outright lies.”

According to the video clip released by the UNDP, Lee said in the lecture, “After returning to Korea, I founded an on-line financial firm. I established an asset management firm called BBK in January this year. I also obtained preliminary approval from the government for the establishment of a cyber securities firm to carry out work needed for the company (BBK)."

Rep. Park Hyung-joon, spokesperson of the GNP, said regarding these remarks, “Lee made those statements to promote the BBK, which was in partnership with Lke bank Lee established.” He also dismissed the UNDP’s argument as “an attempt to disrupt the upcoming presidential election,” after releasing a tape containing evidence that the suspect (54) who offered the video clip to the UNDP had contacted the liberal party.

Investigation into the possibility of a backroom deal-

The suspect known as Kim and two accomplices were reported to have contacted independent presidential hopeful Lee Hoi-chang and GNP officials prior to submitting the video to the UNDP, and reportedly demanded billions of won in exchange for a CD. They were arrested by police on December 15 after the GNP refused their demand and reported it to the police.

The police arrested Kim and others who were coming out of a hotel where they met with GNP officials on December 15, about 7:00 p.m. The police confiscated two CDs from them as evidence, and are probing into allegations that they tried to extort 3 billion won from the GNP by using the CDs.

A police source said that, “They seemed to have contacted the GNP to extort money, but they changed their minds and offered the CDs to the UNDP after they were arrested.” The police plan to apply for a warrant on charges of blackmail and violence.

President Roh orders review of BBK scandal-

President Roh was briefed on the case and called on the Justice Ministry to review the prosecution’s BBK case results, citing the dissolution of people’s suspicions and the restoration of trust in the prosecution, Jeon Hae-cheol, the presidential secretary for petitions, said.

In particular, President Roh stressed that the ministry should come up with effective steps that can satisfy the public’s right to know, considering the current measures by the National Assembly to create an independent counsel to investigate Lee`s connection to the case.

Prior to this, Kim Hong-il, the prosecutor who led the one-month probe into the BBK case at the Central Prosecutors’ Office said in a press conference yesterday, “(With this video incident,) we have no intention of reinvestigating the BBK scandal. We didn’t obtain the video clip in question at the time of investigation, but later checked the content. We don’t believe the video affects the investigation conclusions since it contains content similar to the interviews we already looked at.”